By Kevin Roche
Especially when we have a President as, er, volatile and impulsive, as the current one (not saying that is always bad), it is good to have people around him or her in a crisis who appear more reasoned. Dr. Fauci served that purpose initially, although it seems now that whatever his demeanor, he has been giving terrible advice all along. After watching today’s performance testifying to the Senate, it is clearly time for him to go. He has chronic tunnel vision, only capable of seeing a narrow public health perspective, and I am not aware of any ophthalmic surgery that will correct that tunnel vision, although Rand Paul, an ophthalmologist himself, attempted to give Dr. Fauci some other kind of surgery during the hearing.
Even Dr. Fauci’s public health perspective is seriously warped, as he never acknowledges all the health harms being done by the economic shutdowns, including the recently revealed huge drop in childhood vaccinations, which you would imagine might alarm him as an infectious disease specialist, but when he had a chance to stress this, he just referred to it as an “unintended consequence” of the shutdowns. We are literally in the process of destroying both our health system and many patients’ health, but nary a word of serious concern from the good doctor Fauci.
And he is incapable of acknowledging when he is in error. He persisted in saying there is danger to children in going back to school when there are hundred things more likely to cause a child’s death than coronavirus, including child abuse from being in a dangerous home situation instead of at school. When asked a question by Senator Scott that recited all the harms from the shutdowns, he made no response at all to that recitation..
And he seems blissfully unaware that he is primarily operating in cover-my-ass mode. There is no downside to him making the most dire predictions about the epidemic. If they don’t come true, no one will remember. And he knows very well that the press will pick up and headline his gloomiest warnings. For example, speaking to the press corps he said that social distancing should continue until there are no new cases and no deaths. Not sure what he means by social distancing, but if he means anything like the current lockdowns, that is insane. Especially because he, correctly in my judgment, says both that the virus will likely be with us indefinitely and that a vaccine is 18 months out.
People need to be more skeptical of the whole notion of an “expert”. They need to trust their own common sense and use those wonderful little computers most of us carry at all times to get information and do their own analysis. Everything I get is publicly available or I email people, who surprisingly, usually respond and answer questions. This sheeplike trust in people who have very limited perspectives and very limited actual experience in dealing with a situation like this is dangerous and has led us to the current disaster.
It is time for the good doctor to gracefully, or ungracefully if he wants it that way, to exit so he can sit and ponder the end of the world in whatever location he chooses, while the rest of us try to recover from the the world he hath wrought.